Man Utd legend Neville declares Real Madrid star Ronaldo a "MONSTER"

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has declared Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo a "monster".

Ronaldo will be the centre-piece of Neville's week, having known since he watched the then raw teenager playing for Sporting Lisbon against United in a friendly 10 years ago he was a rare talent.

"I watched that game at home and texted my brother afterwards saying 'we have to sign him'," said Neville.

"He did certain things that night which were exceptional. When Ronaldo came to United he was physically underdeveloped. He had to cope with moving away from home and learning another language.

"But he had the right people around him and a manager who allowed him to flourish."

Nevertheless, Ronaldo was a frustrating presence in the United squad - until his return from the 2006 World Cup that is.

"He was a completely different person," said Neville. "He had gone from a featherweight, making the wrong decisions in the last third of the pitch, to a light-heavyweight.

"I cannot think of any player who graced Old Trafford like he did for two seasons. He won us matches week in, week out. It was a phenomenal level of performance, scoring an unbelievable amount of goals.

"Now, he is a monster. I saw him on Saturday evening. He picks the ball up in an innocuous position, 30 yards out, does some type of shimmy I can't even describe let alone do, beats a man and whacks it in from 25 yards.

"You can't defend against that.

"Then he scores a counter-attack goal when he chases 80 yards forward, then he preys on the back of the centre-half and scores a hat-trick inside 30 minutes."

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